In 1947, Chuck Yeager was the first pilot to break the sound barrier while flying an experimental rocket-powered airplane. It was a very big deal. Flash forward 65 years to the day and we have Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian skydiver, daredevil and base jumper setting the world record for skydiving an estimated 24 miles, reaching an estimated speed of 834 miles per hour (Mach 1.24)! His October 2012 jump broke the sound barrier without any vehicular power on his descent.
The Better the Story, The More Impact You Will Achieve
This small step for man earned Baumgartner a place in history and the record books forever. Red Bull, who sponsored this gigantic commercial, has received (as I write this post) 29,614,647 views on their YouTube video here. Not bad for one promotion on one day. Frankly, this is what you call a “HOME RUN” in brand marketing!
Perhaps what is most instructive about this is how much it takes today to truly break through the clutter and get your brand noticed. Thinking that nice statements such as “High Quality”, “Excellent Customer Service”, “Money Back Guarantee” and all of the other general statements that thousands of companies promise each day is no where near enough to be heard, let alone noticed. Frankly, it’s a copout to think this kind of bland messaging will bring your company one iota of value. It simply doesn’t work anymore, so stop it.
The reasons for this are legion. There are literally hundreds or thousands of brands in each brand category all fighting for attention. The media world has become incredibly segmented. These factors and many others have given buyers and consumers thousands of choices, which create a very difficult marketplace for a brand owner to break out. This in turn has created real cynicism among buyers and consumers who are literally bombarded by brand messaging morning, noon and night.
So what’s the solution here? That if you are planning your next brand strategy program make sure that at its heart is something of true value that your customers want. If you aren’t sure, ask them! And if you find they aren’t all that interested keep searching until you find something they are excited about. Red Bull’s success came from combining their hyper brand image with an equally hyper daredevil. Perfect pairing. The question is, what is your brand’s true purpose and promise and what is the perfect strategic pairing you can use? It may not be jumping out of aircrafts but it needs to be as unusual to get widespread attention. Keep thinking!